The crack of bats and the sound of cheers filling the air is common around Peninsula sports fields and parks these days, as competitive and recreational games – not to mention increasingly warmer weather – draw kids, parents and grandparents out for some fun.
Youngsters – or people of any age, for that matter – enjoying a favourite summer pastime is always great to see. The activity provides benefits on so many levels.
Team sports of any kind provide kids with the opportunity to get fresh air and exercise and develop athletic skills they may not discover otherwise.
Playing on a fastball, football, soccer or hockey team goes beyond the physical fitness elements for youth. Many develop life skills they will carry throughout their adult lives. They learn about the importance of teamwork, self confidence and self discipline, and other qualities they’ll lean on throughout their careers, wherever their journeys take them.
In many cases, sports are also responsible for forging friendships that last a lifetime.
It’s important to acknowledge the dedicated core of parents and volunteers who step up to the plate to support the kids taking part in the sports opportunities: the coaches who give up their free time to work with the kids, as well as the umpires and referees who show up for the love of the game and, in many cases, the chance to give something back to a sport that was instrumental in their own personal development.
Let’s not forget about the timekeepers and scorekeepers who shiver away in the wind and the cold to keep track of what’s going on during the games. Kudos to volunteers who serve up the hot dogs and hot chocolate in the concession stands, which help raise funds that enable youth sports to thrive, even in tough economic times.
The parents who organize registration and spend hours on the phone dealing with schedule changes or arranging tournaments also all deserve a tip of the cap, as do the businesses who sponsor the purchase of uniforms and equipment.
The Semiahmoo Peninsula is not unique in the support and enthusiasm shared for ensuring kids have these opportunities.
And not unlike many other communities, it is a better place because of these efforts.